The Best Restaurants in Rome, Italy
A Few Tips on Rome Restaurants:
Here are a few suggestions as you make your way through the best restaurants in Rome so your dining experience is a little more easy and breezy:
- Make reservations as soon as possible. Italy as a whole is a country that runs on reservations (this was the case even pre-covid). They’re typically very easy to make and they’ll not only ensure that you get a spot in the restaurant, but in essence, it reserves your table for the afternoon/evening. Try calling (even if the restaurant isn’t open), reserving online via the website, or send a good old-fashioned email. You can also see if the restaurant you’re reserving is on Quandoo. Most restaurants are very speedy to reply and worst-case scenario you can always cancel.
- Always have cash on hand. Several Rome restaurants (yes– even some of the best restaurants in Rome) accept cash only for payment.
- Don’t leave a 20% tip. You certainly can tip, but a couple or few Euros is completely and totally acceptable. Many diners subscribe to the rough rule that 1 Euro per person is an adequate tip or to round up your check by a few Euros. Restaurant employees are paid significantly more than American waiters and waitresses and a server in Italy would never expect a 15-20% tip. And in the unfortunate event that your service is bad, you aren’t obligated to leave a tip.
- Take your time. Italian culture is hyper-focused on the food and dining experience (part of the reason we love it so much) that trying to rush your way through a meal isn’t encouraged. Plan on 1.5-2 hours for a typical lunch and closer 2-3 hours for dinner.
28. Gelato: Otaleg
Gelato in Italy (and especially in Rome), is quite literally is everywhere. There’s nothing better than a cone filled with fresh, mouth-watering gelato artigianale. There are several fantastic gelaterias in Rome (here’s our guide to the 10 best in town), but if you can only go to one, we recommend Otaleg in Trastevere. Serving creamy, high-quality gelato with a pretty sweet name (gelato spelled backward), Otaleg is a great place to visit after a delicious lunch or dinner at any of our favorite restaurants in Trastevere. They have classics and new flavors, but no matter which direction you go everything is going to be delicious. Don’t forget to ask for a dollop of cream on the top.
27. Gnocchi Thursday: L’arcangelo
In the states, food enthusiasts celebrate Taco Tuesday, and in Italy, there’s Gnocchi Giovedi or “Gnocchi Thursday”! A great excuse to indulge in some of our favorite pasta ever. What’s there not to like about a fluffy pillow of carbohydrate heaven? There are hundreds of places to get your gnocchi fix on in Rome but one of the best Rome restaurants for this dumpling-like pasta is L’arcangelo. Served with the typical and delectable amatriciana sauce, this gnocchi is seriously heaven in a bite and, thankfully, available not just on Thursdays but every day of the week except Sunday.
26. Alfredo: Alfredo Alla Scrofa
Alfredo Alla Scrofa is home to the original fettuccine alfredo. You won’t find this dish much elsewhere in town but it’s buttery, delicate, and oh so decadent– a must try if you’re a fettuccine alfredo enthusiast! This isn’t the Fettuccine Alfredo you had at the Olive Garden growing up– the pasta is covered purely in Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh butter and is artfully tossed and prepared tableside. Bonus points for great air conditioning, lemon with Diet Coke, and fantastic customer service.
25. Suppli: Suppli Roma
Rome is known for its delicious street food snacks (all of which seem to be deep-fried), and of all the offerings in this salty snacky family, suppli is our favorite. A deep-fried ball of rice with tomato and mozzarella, this Italian snack is seriously addicting. You can find suppli all across town but our favorite spot for this local favorite is Suppli Roma in Trastevere, a great spot for a quick in-and-out bite if you’re wanding this historic neighborhood. They also have fantastic pizza by the slice if you’re in the mood for something more filling.
Related Video: Pizza Tour in Rome, Italy
24. Off The Beaten Path: L’osteria Di Monteverde Roma
When in Rome, take the road less traveled for a non-touristy restaurant that serves truly incredible food in the Monteverde neighborhood. L’osterira Monteverde doesn’t seem like anything special from the outside (or even the inside), but they’re home to some of the best food in Rome. With a rotating menu for both lunch and dinner, come here to enjoy classic Italian dishes with a twist. The charming and incredibly friendly staff are the cherry on top.
23. Local’s Market: Mercato Testaccio
Testaccio is considered one of the best neighborhoods in Rome for food, and it’s also home to our favorite local market in the entire city: Mercato di Testaccio. Flooded with vendors selling beautifully fresh produce and various stalls open for breakfast and lunch, this covered market is the place to be. Come ready to explore and bring your appetite. Favorite vendors include Le Mani in Pasta for amazing handmade pasta, Mordi e Vai for incredible made-to-order sandwiches, and Casa Manco for swoon-worthy pizza by the slice.
22. Pizza Pocket: Trapizzino
There are so many incredible places for pizza in Rome, but our favorite unique and innovative rendition of this Italian staple is the pizza pocket or sandwich version of pizza, found at Trapizzino. Choose from several different options to create a delicious pizza pocket of your choice. The bread alone is amazing (slightly chewy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside), and each Trapizzino is filled with melt-in-your-mouth meat & sauce concoctions that are seriously TDF. Can’t decide which one to try? We recommend the chicken cacciatore or the meatball with sauce. Trapizzino is now located all across Italy and even in NYC, but the original location is in Testaccio and it’s undeniably one of the best restaurants in Rome.
21. Taste of Napoli: Gino Sorbillo Roma
Napoli is the birthplace of pizza and home to the best pizza in the world, and our favorite pizzeria in Naples proper is Gino Sorbillo. Great news: Gino has a place in Rome and the pizza here is just as good almost as good as the pizza at his OG spot down south, plus it’s infinitely less crowded and even during peak season you can usually secure a table with little or no wait time (no reservations, unfortunately). Choose from their menu of dozens of pizzas which are all made to order in their 900-plus degree wood-fired oven.
20. Local Spot: Ivo a Trastevere
Ivo a Trastevere is a restaurant where the locals eat in one of our favorite neighborhoods, Trastevere. It’s one of the best restaurants in Rome for unpretentuous authentic dining. There is nothing flashy or Instagram-worthy of Ivo, but they serve uh-mazing and mouth-wateringly delicious food. Favorite orders here include the white pie with salame piccante, the pizza margherita, or the gnocchi pomodoro.
19. Best Takeout: Pizzeria Divina
If you’re looking for a great quick bite near the Vatican, Pizzeria Divina makes delicious, traditional Roman-style pizza in the evenings for takeout only. The pizzas here are uncomplicated and seriously delicious. Grab a couple of their delectable made-to-order suppli for an appetizer (the classic and cacio e pepe are our favs) and order a classic margherita or the Tommasino, made with sliced buffalo mozzarella, semi-dried cherry tomatoes, and a basil emulsion.
18. Hand Made Pasta: Osteria da Fortunata
Osteria da Fortunata may feel like a tourist trap with their seemingly endless line of tourists and huge indoor and outdoor seating areas, but if good food is your priority then this casual restaurant won’t let you down. Come right when they open to secure a seat in the restaurant and try to sit near one of their large glass windows to enjoy watching nonnas making pasta by hand. The tagliolini with pomodoro sauce and fresh basil is one of our favorite dishes and the ossobucco (veal braised in vegetables, wine, and broth) is tender and flavorful.
17. Pizza al Taglio: Casa Manco
Casa Manco serves some of our favorite pizza by the slice in Rome. You can find them at Mercato di Testaccio at stall number 22 after a morning of perusing around the market. The pizza at Casa Manco is built on their dreamy crust that has incredible chew, flavor, and texture. You can stick with classic slices like pizza rosa or margherita, or (better yet) branch out to some of their more adventurous and seriously addicting slices like radicchio with gorgonzola, fig and prosciutto, or stracciatella and zucchini flower.
16. Modern Pizza: Seu Pizza Illuminati
If you’re looking for delicious Neapolitan pizza with flair, then visit Seu Pizza Illuminati. You’ll find them in a less than charming part of Trastevere and it’s not a restaurant you’d ever stumble upon, but all the more reason for you to make over to this innovative pizzeria. The pizza here has its own, unique composition with fluffy, pillowy crust and less than common toppings. Regardless of what you order, it’s going to be some of the best pizza you’ll ever devour in Rome.
15. Suckling Pig: La Tavernaccia Da Bruno
We get it. Not everyone can eat JUST pizza and pasta for days on end, so if you’re looking for something on this list of Rome restaurants with a little more substance, head to La Tavernaccia Da Bruno. The roasted suckling pig is the absolute star of the show here. Cooked in a wood-fired oven, this crispy-on-the-outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside pork is truly worthy of one of your precious meals in Rome. They also serve fantastic appetizers (get the bruschetta), pasta, and crispy roman-style pizza for dinner only.
14. Bakery & Pizza: Antico Forno Roscioli
The Roscioli family has created a bit of an empire in Rome, from the salumeria to the restaurant to the caffe to the bakery. And the bakery (otherwise known as the Antico Forno) is a cannot miss when it comes to the best restaurants in Rome. You can get all kinds of assorted bread and sweet treats here, but the pizza alla pala (literally translated as “shovel pizza”) is truly to die for. The pizza rossa cannot be missed, and during Christmastime, their panettone is one of the best in town.
13. Neapolitan Pizza: La Gatta Mangiona
La Gatta Mangiona is a little bit of a jaunt from the city center, but if you’re a true pizza enthusiast, make time for dinner here. This Neapolitan-style pizza is truly a thing of beauty from the delicate crust to the fresh mozzarella and crushed tomatoes, to the insanely flavorful toppings. They also offer takeaway for a relaxed night in (but you must order at the restaurant), giving you no excuse to miss one of the best restaurants in Rome.
12. Cacio E Pepe:Roma Sparita
Cacio e pepe is everywhere you look in Rome, and while you can find plenty of fantastic renditions of this traditional Roman dish, our favorite spot for a bowl of cheese and pepper is Roma Sparita. Creamy and decadent cacio e pepe is served in a bowl made entirely of parmigiano reggiano. And whether you decide to devour your cheese bowl or not (you probably should), the cacio e pepe is fantastic completely on its own. Roma Sparita is one of the best restaurants in Rome for patio seating in beautiful Piazza di Santa Cecilia in Trastevere and quite literally a cacio e pepe lover’s dream come true!
11. Classic & Adventurous: SantoPalato
SantoPalato is moving and shaking things up in the culinary space in Rome. Female executive chef and owner Sarah Cicoliniat serves a variety of noteworthy dishes for lunch and dinner, every day except Monday. Indulge at one of the best Rome restaurants with classics like spaghettone carbonara (highly recommend), rigatoni alla amatriciana, or tonnarello cacio e pepe. Feeling a little more adventurous? Try the chicken giblets and liver omelet or the Roman-style tripe with tomato sauce and pecorino.
10. No-Frills Roman Pizza: Pizzeria Remo a Testaccio
One of the most authentic, non-touristy spots for fantastic Roman-style pizza in Rome is Pizzeria Remo a Testaccio. You’ll feel like you’re a part of the neighborhood at this locally-loved pizzeria, and not only is the pizza here super affordable but it’s some of the best you’ll enjoy in town. The margherita with buffala mozzarella is the way to go, but other fantastic pizzas include the pizza bianca with prosciutto crudo or the funghi (mushroom) on a red pie.
9. When You’re Sick of Italian: Marigold
Is it possible to get sick of Italian food? That may depend on how long you’re in Italy and how often you’re eating out (no judgment from us!). But if you’re in search of non-Italian cuisine that’s worthy of one of your precious meals in Rome, then visit Marigold in Testaccio. The food here is vibrant and fresh, everything is made from scratch, and all of the bread and pastries are naturally leavened and baked every morning. Come here for breakfast or lunch and order a stack of pancakes, the sandwich of the day, or a leafy green salad. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on their pastry case where you’ll find baked goods that taste just as good as they look including cinnamon swirl buns, carrot cake, and chocolate chip cookies.
8. Panini & Pizza: Forno Campo de Fiori
Our favorite bakery in Rome is Forno Campo de’ Fiori. Situated within the iconic and beautiful square of Campo de’ Fiori, this family-owned third-generation bakery not only makes some of the best baked goods in the city but fantastic pizza and sandwiches as well (our favorite panino in the entire city, to be exact). All of the paninis are made with pizza bianca or “white pizza”, composed of flour, water, salt, yeast, and extra virgin olive oil. You can enjoy the absolutely perfect pizza bianca as is, or (even better) sliced in half with mortadella in between. Everything including panini, pizza, and baked goods can be purchased in their main storefront, or hop across the alley to their sandwich shop, where you can see an even larger assortment of their delicious and super affordable panini.
7. Best Backdrop: Armando al Pantheon
A literal stone’s throw from the Pantheon, Armando al Pantheon is one of the most difficult reservations to secure in Rome because they simply do things right. With pastas cooked to perfection, appetizers and entrees infused with flavor and high-quality ingredients, and a killer view from one of the best restaurants in Rome (sans the typical tourist trap fare), this would be a fantastic choice for one of your precious meals in Roma. The bruschetta with butter and anchovies are delightful, and the amatriciana and carbonara here are particularly delicious.
6. Roman Pizza: Emma Pizzeria
There are several different styles of pizza that you’ll find in Rome, but one of the most prevalent is Pizza Romana or Roman-style pizza. It’s thin, it’s crispy, and it’s so fantastically delicious. Our favorite place for this kind of pie in the Eternal City is Emma, one of our favorite Rome restaurants located near Campo de’ Fiori. You can order a whole host of menu items at Emma including appetizers, pasta, and of course pizza. There are dozens of pizza options but the margherita di bufala is simple yet sublimely satisfying, or indulge in the pata negra e bufala for the perfect marriage of artisan cheese and charcuterie on a pie.
5. Amatriciana: Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto
Da Cesare is one of the best Rome restaurants thanks to the in-cre-di-ble food they serve. The restaurant is situated in a residential neighborhood of Monteverde, far away from the hustle and bustle of central Rome. We haven’t had a bad thing on the menu, but make sure and start every meal with their fried gnocchi and calamari, and when it comes to pasta the bucatini alla amatriciana is the best amatriciana you’ll find in Rome and the tonnarelli alla gricia is worth ordering over and over again.
4. Pizza al Taglio: Pizzarium Bonci
Pizza Al Taglio means pizza “by the cut”, which is exactly what you’re getting at Pizzarium. Head to this pizzeria near the Vatican for lunch or dinner any day of the week and you are in for a pizza lover’s treat! Priced by weight and worth every penny, this pan-cooked pizza has amazing texture and flavor no matter what you order. Show up as early as possible (they open at 11), grab a number, and wait your turn for some of the most delicious pizza you will ever have. The classic margherita and the potato and mozzarella are must try slices. If waiting in line isn’t your thing, you can enjoy this same great pizza (but with a little less variety to choose from) at Panificio Bonci or Mercato Centrale Roma just a few steps away from the Roma Termini train station.
3. Something Different: Colline Emiliane
As it is with any city in any region in Italy, when you’re in Rome you’ll eat as the Romans do, which means a whole lot of their four signature pastas (carbonara, cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and gricia), roman style pizza, and many other delicious, iconic dishes. But after a few days in the Eternal City, you might be craving something else. If this is the case, head straight to Colline Emiliane where they serve fantastic cuisine from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. All of the pasta at Colline Emiliane is hand made and they place a tremendous amount of emphasis on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Antipasto delle Colline Emiliane is an extremely authentic appetizer composed of a saliva-inducing array of cheese, cured meats, and spreads. If bolognese is your thing then you simply cannot miss their beyond-perfect tagliatelle alla bolognese, but any of their pasta offerings that rotate seasonally are truly supernal.
2. Carbonara: Da Enzo
In Rome you’ll see carbonara over and over and over again. Everyone seems to have “the best” carbonara and while most of them are truly delicious, none compare to the carbonara you’ll have at Da Enzo, one of the very best restaurants in Rome. It’s a tiny trattoria and fills up quickly for both lunch and dinner daily. They don’t take reservations, so you’ll need to show up right when they open (or even a few minutes befure) or plan on a bit of a wait. Made with typical carbonara ingredients including cured pork cheek, pecorino romano, and freshly ground black pepper, there’s just something above and beyond when it comes to this bowl of rigatoni heaven. If carbonara isn’t your thing, Da Enzo is still worth visiting for other menu favorites such as the burrata and sourdough (might as well get their olive oil tasting while you’re at it), amatriciana, fried artichokes, and the meatballs in tomato sauce.
Related Video: Best Pasta in Rome
1. The Whole 9 Yards: Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina
Perhaps you only have one day in Rome (blasphemy!) or maybe you’ve stumbled upon this guide with only a few days left in the Eternal City. If there’s only one restaurant we can recommend for a truly stupendous meal at one of our favorite Rome restaurants, it’s hands down Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina. Reservations are an absolute must (check out their website), but it’s always well worth the planning for some of the best appetizers, pasta, and classic Roman fare you will ever devour. Favorite menu items include the burrata Pugliese conpomodorini (burrata with black pepper and sundried cherry tomatoes), the cacio e pepe, the bucatini alla amatriciana, and the traditional meatballs serve with san marzano tomatoes. Make sure and save room for the complimentary biscotti and chocolate at the end of your meal– a dessert worthy of the Roman Gods.